Vatican City, 16 March 2015 (VIS) – The Synod of Bishops of the Maronite Patriarchal Church, in its extraordinary session of 10 to 14 March 2015:
- accepted the resignation of Bishop Elias Sleiman from the pastoral care of the eparchy of Lattaquie upon reaching the age limit, and elected him as president of the Patriarchal Tribunal.
- elected Bishop Joseph Mouawad, patriarchal vicar of Ehden-Zgorta, Syria, as bishop of Zahle (Catholics 50,000, priests 34, religious 42), Lebanon.
- elected, with pontifical assent, the Rev. Corepiscopa Antoine Chbeir as bishop of Lattaquie of the Maronites (Catholics 35,000, priests 27, religious 50), Syria. The bishop-elect was born in Ghosta, Lebanon, and was ordained a priest in 1988. He holds a doctorate in biblical theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University of Rome and has served as parish priest and diocesan chancellor. He is currently chancellor of the patriarchal vicariate of Jounieh, Lebanon, and succeeds Bishop Elias Sleiman.